Friday, January 2, 2009

Resolutions: Light Green or Emerald Green?

I spent a couple of days on the road this week looking for new opportunities. With the housing market still in the tank, building professionals are uncovering any means necessary to survive this down turn. My focus is on moving green forward as a viable movement with the building industry.

I meet with a company this week that focuses on consulting homebuilders through the process of simplifying their company and saving money. Lean operations are the name of the game. As a builder, I was fortunate enough to work with them last year and see how “Lean” our operations could be. Whether saving money, increasing efficiency or reducing waste, everything they do is directed at showing homebuilders a better way to do what has been done so many times before.

Green consulting, in housing, is a largely untapped market. As compared to the entire nation, buildings with a green story are relatively few and far between. Not only are few builders doing anything to be green, their operations are skinny with few or no additional employees. Sharing of ideas and knowledge through green consulting can help bring the industry up from the stone age.

After my meetings in Detroit, I spent an evening with family in Indiana. As the question of employment came up, my brother asked me what all this green stuff meant. More specifically, did the green I talk about include planters on the roof, solar panels, no flush toilets, etc. As I explained green starts long before those products, we quickly realized that many in middle America have a false sense of what green really means.

Initially, his sentiment on green focused on the negative aspects: expensive, inconvenient, and difficult to do without professional help. I realized I am not doing enough to share my own message of Shades of Green. In our conversation, he quickly learned that going green is not only the big changes, but all the little decisions we make everyday,

I submit my resolution to you. This year, I will spread the message and teach anyone who will listen, and even some that won’t about Shades of Green. This year, I will move shades closer to the green I want to be.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, and timely. I read an article in the Phila Inquirer today, in the Business Section, titled "Demand dims for energy-efficient homes." I was also reminded of the fact that most people just don't understand green, and think it is tacking on expensive gadgets, such as solar. Many(most?) home builders are also reluctant to move away from their standard practices, standard sub-contractors, standard materials, standard designs, and more. They know how much that standard costs, and have it down to a science. The 'green model' is a paradigm shift, which means almost everything you thought you knew, is probably now incorrect. Think of the world being flat to the world being round. What a change that resulted in! This is the same kind of shift.

    I look forward to reading your posts as you find the shade you want to be. I've been on the same path myself. People are more willing to listen and learn than ever before. And it's really cool.